Back in Barcelona

20 Apr

Ahhh, back to the hustle and bustle. Returned yesterday and got settled into my new digs.  It’s a gorgeous place with vaulted ceilings and Spanish tiles on the floor.  And, it’s loud as all get out.  It’s on a very busy street, Rambla Cataluyna. It’s very central to all 3 of my stages and it’s beautiful, so I’m planning to learn to block out the noise even through the earplugs.  I’ll just meditate on the lovely lilac bush behind my mom’s house.  Lilacs were in bloom all over her town. Here a few pictures.  Can you smell them?  Mmmmmm….

And more Lilacs, in and surrounded by her favorite Belleek (Irish ceramics):

After a 24 hour “commute” back to Barca yesterday, I needed a nap. After I got my bags from Diana’s, I mosied across the street to El Gope. Granted I was delirious from traveling but I think it was one of the best 12 Euro meals I’ve had here. I had escalivada con queso de cabra, pan con tomate, a glass of vino tinto, and a bottle of agua natural. Escalivada is a salad of roasted red peppers, roasted eggplant and roasted onions covered in olive oil and sometimes a splash of vinegar. This one was topped with grilled goat cheese. Of course I had to have it with toasted bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes and olive oil. Mmmmmmm. Perfect, light, just what I needed.

On a no meat kick after I ate steak 3 days in a row in CO (see pic below of the salad I made from left over steak – yummy), I decided to look up veggie restaurants today.

Steak salad is a great way to use up yesterday’s left over steak:

So…I went to the following site: (sin carne = no meat, or without meat). I found a place close to my apartment called Habaluc. It is purportedly an “organic” restaurant with veggie options. It has pretty good decor, especially the ceiling. They did a great job with softening what could have been a very loud place due to the ceilings underneath the fun, cloth “tent” they attached to the ceiling. The service was great, so I thought this was all very promising…. until the food came. Bad ingredients, poorly executed. Disappointed. Why use organic tomatoes when they are out of season, look anemic and taste like cardboard? It was so unnecessary, especially when the salad already had sun dried tomatoes, which is the obvious choice when the fresh tomatoes suck. My second course, which I thought was going to be a terrine of shrimp and vegetables, turned out to be overcooked pasta in a light cream curry sauce topped with 1 undercooked shrimp. Really? The menu said terrina de gambas. When there is an “s” on something, I am expecting more than 1. I was so bummed I couldn’t even eat dessert. This, in retrospect, could have been the thing that saved it. As I paid and was walking out, I spied someone with the cheese and anise postre. It did look delicious. Okay, maybe I’ll stop by again but just for dessert.

Here’s a pic of Habaluc:

Onto dinner… after some good exploration of my neighborhood, I decided I’m back on the meat tonight. I went to Biospace, my fave health food store, and bought some all natural charcuterie. Here’s my perfect 2nd night dinner:

Queso fresco (fresh goat cheese), baguette, tomates, olive oil and balsamico, lomo embuchado (cured pork loin), salchichon (salami), and vino blanco:

And, here’s me, very happy with the food I’m eating:

Now, if only I had a piece of that amazing key lime pie from Merlino’s:

I’ll settle for a few figs, one episode of Downton Abbey on my kindle, and sweet dreams of going back to work at Quim’s tomorrow.

Happy Eating!

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